A Win-Win-Win: Protecting Parks, Maximizing Experiences and Minimizing Crowds

Arches, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Shenandoah, Yosemite are among those addressing the long-term challenges of overcrowding with smart solutions to visitor use management.

of Arches survey respondents would like a reservation system for future visits, according to a USU study

People love national parks, and inspirational sites such as Arches, the Great Smoky Mountains and Zion have seen a steady increase in visitors over the years. At some popular parks, crowded conditions have led to problems and frustrations, including traffic jams, overflowing parking lots, closed entrance gates, packed and unsafe trails, and threats to wildlife and plants. Thankfully, some of our most overwhelmed parks are exploring solutions, including reservation and timed-entry systems. These solutions are similar to what many museums, movie theaters and other venues have already put in place to ensure there is space for each guest. With a bit of advanced planning, visitors can enjoy a safer, less stressful experience in a place meant for people to experience solace, beauty, and reflection.

of visitors have changed their plans to avoid busy times, according to an NPCA member survey

Park Planning Like a Pro

Know Before You Go

Visiting Acadia National Park

A vehicle reservation is required to drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain via the Cadillac Summit Road from late spring through fall

Know Before You Go

Visiting Arches National Park

Timed entry reservations are required for visiting Arches between 7am-4 pm, April 1 - October 31

Know Before You Go

Visiting Glacier National Park

Between May 24 - September 8, vehicle reservations will be required to enter Going-to-the-Sun Road, the North Fork, and Many Glacier. Each location has unique details and requires a separate reservation.

Know Before You Go

Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Daily Parking Fees. Purchase at the park or online and print before you go.

Know Before You Go

Visiting Haleakalā National Park (Sunrise Reservations)

Reservations are required to visit between 3am – 7am, daily.


Visiting Mount Rainier National Park

NEW for summer 2024: advanced reservations required for the Paradise and Sunrise corridor entrances, May 24-September 2

Know Before You Go

Visiting Muir Woods National Monument

Reservations for parking or shuttle service are required, daily.

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Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park

Timed entry reservations required between May 24-October 20

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Visiting Shenandoah National Park (Old Rag Trail)

Timed-entry reservations required to hike the trail, from March 1-November 30

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Visiting Yosemite National Park

An entrance reservation is required at select periods in February and between April - October, 2024.

Know Before You Go

Visiting Zion National Park (Angels Landing Trail)

Permits are required year-round to hike the Angels Landing trail

Enhancing the Visitor Experience

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